Wright Marshall – the current situation

Wright Marshall Limited, the local agricultural and auctioneering business, entered into Administration on 26th June 2019.

Farmers who are owed money by the Auctioneers are unlikely to see a return above 5%.

The Administrators have provisionally reported that there are over 1200 unsecured trade creditors who are owed more than £1.6m cumulatively. It is noted that two individual farmers are owed in excess of £50,000 each and a further 18 farmers are owed between £3,000 to £30,000.

RBS (a secured creditor) was owed over £1 million and HMRC is reported to be owed a sum in excess of £250,000.

The prospect of any additional payment (dividend) is dependent upon the ability and capacity of the Administrators to recover an additional £400,000 which is allegedly owed to Wright Marshall.

The Farmers Weekly publication has reported that the NFU (through its ‘CallFirst Service’) has been contacted by approximately 60 members who are directly affected by the collapse of Wright Marshall.

The Administrators have reported that the deterioration in performance of Wright Marshall was due principally to increased losses in rural auctions and ongoing under performance of the Fine Arts and Estate Agency business. It is understood that the Estate Agency business has been sold to Petty Estate Agents which is a longstanding agency based in Lancashire. The Fine Arts division of Wright Marshall has not been transferred or sold and is believed to have simply ceased trading in August 2019.

The turnover of Wright Marshall fell from over £6 million in 2017 to under £5 million in 2018 and thereafter less than £4 million in the first 10 months of the latest financial year.

A significant and negative impact on cash flow can be fatal for farming and agricultural operators – which is coupled with the global and national financial uncertainty.

If you have been affected by the collapse of Wright Marshall, Butcher & Barlow may be able to assist. The Agriculture team at Butcher & Barlow works closely with the Commercial Dispute Resolution and Property Dispute Resolution teams to resolve and help with issues such as:

  • Debt recovery;
  • Certainty with Terms and Conditions – to ensure contractual clarity and recovery;
  • Boundary and access disputes;
  • Agricultural Tenancy Disputes;
  • Trusts and Estates Planning.

For an initial no obligation conversation, contact Mike Bracegirdle and Alex Sandland at Butcher & Barlow’s Gadbrook Park.